Insights from F8 Developer Conference

Social network is not the most interesting part.

The keynotes and highlights of the conferences were other parts — Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus. Facebook, like Apple is doing a great job of disrupting itself, mainly through acquisitions. Yes even Messenger was an acquisition

Facebook’s 10-year road map
“Facebook’s 10-year roadmap is basically lasers, bots and VR” — Napier Lopez

The Bots are Coming

Facebook released Chatbot API’s making it easy to create Bots without native Apps. Additionally the Wit.ai’s Bot Engine enables natural language communication in both text and speech. By feeding the engine new information, new tasks, and new data, it will understand more situations and will become smarter over time. Facebook already uses state-of-the-art AI in moments and in curation of News Feed.

AR and VR

Throughout F8 there was a big focus on making VR (and in future ,AR) the next big social network innovation for both for gaming and long distance social interactions. The clunky form factor is limiting adoption right now but in 10 years headsets are predicted to evolve into “Ray-Ban” like devices.

Facebooks also debuted their open source 360 VR camera and system software. The camera will cost upwards of $25,000 to build, includes 17 different synchronized capture devices and can record two hours of 360-degree video at up to 60 frames per second, as much as 8k per eye.

In the future, you’ll be able to snap your fingers and pull out a photo and make it as big as you want. … A lot of the things we think about as physical objects — like a TV — will actually just be one dollar apps in the app store
. — Mark Zuckerberg

Connected World

There was also quite a focus on connecting the world. It was once again highlighted that almost 60% of the world's population still doesn’t have internet access. The major barriers to worldwide Internet connectivity cited were availability (affecting one billion people) , affordability (one billion), and awareness (two billion). The solutions touted ranged from solar-powered drones, lasers and satellite-based service. The controversial free Basics program for developing countries was also touted once again.

Other highlights

Other noteworthy announcements made at F8 2016

  • Sharing Button — which developers will be able to customize, will allow users to share quotes they find interesting from around the web directly on Facebook.
  • Save to Facebook — save information from other apps and websites.
  • Opening Livestream API — enabling devices other than a standard smartphone to stream to Facebook Live. During the keynote, Zuck live streamed video from a drone as a demonstration